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Multi-segment coordination: fatigue effects

Rodacki, André L. F., Fowler, Neil E. and Bennett, Simon J. (2001) Multi-segment coordination: fatigue effects. Medicine and science in sports and exercise, 33 (7). pp. 1157-1167. ISSN 0195-9131

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PURPOSE: The aim of this study was to investigate the segmental coordination of vertical jumps under fatigue. METHODS: Twelve subjects performed maximal countermovement jumps with and without fatigue, which was imposed by maximal continuous jumps in place until their maximal jump height corresponded to 70% of the nonfatigued condition. Video, ground reaction forces, and electromyographic signals were recorded to analyze the segmental coordination of countermovement jumps before (CMJ1) and after (CMJ2) fatigue. The magnitude of joint extension initiation, peak joint angular velocity, and peak net power around the ankle, knee, and hip joints and their respective times were determined. RESULTS: CMJ2 was characterized by a longer contact time, which was accompanied with an earlier movement initiation and several differences (P < 0.05) in the variables used to describe coordination. When the movement duration was normalized with respect to the contact phase duration, the differences between CMJ1 and CMJ2 were not sustained. A consistent pattern was indicated, in which the segmental coordination did not differ between jump conditions. When the magnitude of the muscle activation was set aside, a remarkably consistent muscle activation time was noticed between conditions. CONCLUSIONS: It was indicated that countermovement jumps were performed with a consistent well-timed motion of the segments. A "common drive," which acts without the knowledge of the muscle properties, was suggested as mediating and controlling the muscle activation timing between agonist-antagonist muscle pairs.

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